FC Dallas - celebrating a goal vs. NYCFC

FC Dallas are the first team to book a spot in the 2016 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.


Dallas, the Supporters' Shield leaders, missed their first chance to secure a Western Conference playoff spot this weekend, drawing 2-2 at New York City FC on Saturday. Then they got some help from Landon Donovan's first post-comeback goal in the LA Galaxy's Sunday visit to Sporting Kansas City, which also ended in a 2-2 tie that guaranteed Dallas a place in the postseason.


Both Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls had a chance to clinch this weekend, but their 3-3 draw on Sunday will keep them waiting for one more week.


A total of six teams from each conference will make the playoffs, with the top two seeds in each conference avoiding a Knockout Round game and earning home-field advantage in their semifinal series (check out projected playoff matchups here).


The Supporters' Shield winner and best-placed team in the opposite conference with both clinch berths in the 2017-18 CONCACAF Champions League. However, Toronto cannot qualify through either of these mechanisms – Canadian teams can only qualify for the CCL through the Canadian Championship, which Toronto won earlier this summer. Should Toronto finish at the top of the Eastern Conference, their CCL berth would go to the next-best team in the Supporters' Shield standings. If Dallas – who have already qualified by winning the US Open Cup – finish at the top of the Western Conference, that CCL berth would be allocated in the same fashion.


For more coverage of the playoff race, be sure to check back on MLSsoccer.com later this week for the Red Line Report and much more.

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